Thursday news and reviews

Here’s a round-up of arts stories making headlines…

Art

Reconsidering the MCAD/Jerome Fellowship Exhibition

“Diane Mullin, associate curator at the Weisman and former MCAD/Jerome Fellowship director, makes the case for rethinking how fellows’ work is presented, calling into question the continued relevance of the traditional model of annual exhibitions.”

– Diane Mullin, mnartists.org

‘A Few of Our Favorite Things’ opens at the Gallery @ Fox Tax

“When naming of a few of your favorite things you probably don’t always think of bright copper kettles, warm woolen mittens, or even whiskers on kittens. Instead, perhaps a few of your favorite things include artwork by local artists Xavier Tavera or DC Ice. If that is the case, then you are in luck.”

– Shelby Meyers,

Books

Not an American tragedy

Michael Cunningham’s latest is beautifully written, but its central character might not move you.

– Ellen Akins, Star Tribune

‘Low Down and Coming On’ presents poetry about pigs

“The idea for the porcine publication came from none other than Bill Holm before he passed in 2009 (and to whom the volume is dedicated).”

– Coco Mault, City Pages

Graywolf will publish poems by Chinese Nobel winner

Graywolf Press to publish poems by Nobel Peace Prize-winning Chinese poet Liu Xiaobo.

– Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune

Comic horrors: Plastic surgery and the ravenous dead“…Plastic-surgery-themed horror stories are few and far between. This year, a local illustrator named Will Dinski put out a small, very appealing graphic novel called “Finger Prints,” addressing the subject. In brief, the story tells of a philandering plastic surgeon, his movie-star clientele, and an assistant who has figured out how to simplify the process of remaking a human face, with disastrous results.”

– Max Sparber, MinnPost.com

Movies

For a switch, Oscar bait

“Movie theaters around town are starting to heat up with releases of potentially Oscar-nominated films. Whether their creators end up thanking or cursing the Academy, many of the films being released this month will surely find their way onto end-of-the year top ten lists.”

– Jim Brunzell III, TC Daily Planet

Music

‘Messiah’ a very mixed bag under Vänskä’s direction

“Minnesota Orchestra’s ensemble played with precision and clarity, but Chorale soloists were too restrained.”

– William Randall Beard, Star Tribune

Hometown talent shines in ‘Messiah’

“Going local has helped the Minnesota Orchestra create a marvelous ‘Messiah.'”

– Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press

Vänskä’s “Messiah” is dynamic and stirring

“Though a late-arising work meeting forced me to miss the second half of the matinee performance, it was by then clear that I was leaving the towering composition in good hands.”

– Jay Gabler, TC Daily Planet

Romantica’s Ben Kyle: The extended interview

“Ben and I ended up covering a lot of ground during our chat, musing on everything from his recent European tour with Carrie Rodriguez and forthcoming duets album to his thoughts on vinyl, songwriting, and more.”

– Andrea Swensson, City Pages

The Dakota marks its 25th with some familiar sounds

“Twenty-five years ago this month, a new jazz club in St. Paul’s Bandana Square took a financial risk by booking its first “name” artist, pianist McCoy Tyner.”

– Dan Emerson, Pioneer Press

MPR Listener Appreciation Party with Peter Wolf Crier, S. Carey, Midwest Standard Time at the Varsity, 12/7/10

“In true Minnesota fashion, the temperature was in the single digits and no one seemed to care.”

– Cindal Lee Heart, City Pages

30 Epic minutes with Far East Movement

By the time Far East Movement took the stage shortly before 1 a.m. Thursday night at Epic, the crowd was ready to “fly like a G6.”

– Kate Gallagher, TC Daily Planet

The Current announces 6th birthday party with Free Energy, Cloud Cult, Jeremy Messersmith, and surprise guests

“If there’s one similarity binding together all of the concert announcements of late, it might be this: The next month will officially be known as the season of ‘surprise special guests.'”

– Andrea Swensson, City Pages

Worst in show: Twin Cities venues due for a makeover

“Here are a dozen venues where the space can be a distraction from the main attraction.”

– Jon Bream, Star Tribune

Dark Dark Dark at the Cedar Cultural Center, 12/08/10

“Dark Dark Dark returned home to the friendly confines of the Cedar Cultural Center on Wednesday night and delighted the near-capacity crowd with their stirring, deeply affecting style of chamber folk.”

– Erik Thompson, City Pages

Theater

Craven selected for prestigious fellowship

Twin Cities actor James Craven was chosen to participate in the 2011 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship Program. He’ll join nine other actors from around the country for an intensive weeklong class with Olympia Dukakis in July in Wisconsin.

– Ross Raihala, Pioneer Press

Rhiana Yazzie talks about New Native Theatre’s debut“New Native Theatre opens its first full production this weekend, The Dreaming Bundle: A play about dreams, at the Minneapolis American Indian Center.”

– Sheila Regan, City Pages

A devilish Christmas and a maddening song

“…In the Middle Ages in England, there were mystery plays. These were communal events telling tales from the Bible, performed by artisan guilds on the back of decorated carts called ‘pageants.’ And, amazingly, one has been kicking around the Twin Cities for more than two decades, in one form or another.”

– Max Sparber, MinnPost.com

Report finds Broadway last season was once again sustained by women and tourists

“The Broadway League study found that international and domestic tourists accounted for 63 percent of the roughly 12 million Broadway admissions from June 2009 through June 2010… The report also found that two-thirds of Broadway audiences were female, a new high. The study says almost 70 percent of theatergoers who made the purchasing decisions were female.”

Associated Press

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